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Franken Centris 650

superseth

Member
As I mentioned in another thread about my broken IIci - I also had a "Centris 650" sitting around. The thing is - it isn't really a Centris 650, or at least it isn't a WHOLE one. At some point it looks like a Centris 650 was shoved inside a Mac IIcx case and the back was drilled out and replaced with a metal cover for the ports. When I got it this machine had been sitting in storage for over a decade at the mice got in there somehow...Anyway after a weekend of cleaning I got this machine up and running. Wanted to share some photos as I have never seen anything like this before.

I need to get some grease for the floppy drive, then I will do a much deeper clean.

Haven't figured out why I can't get a DHCP ip on the netcard yet.

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Phipli

Well-known member
There are photos a similar thing somewhere out on the internet the owner thinks was a prototype.

Nice interesting machine. Wombat in the best case :)
 

3lectr1cPPC

Well-known member
If you didn‘t during cleaning, get that battery out! I’m not sure how experienced you are with these so if this is obvious information to you I apologize, but I can’t take the chance. They have a high chance of leaking all over the place and ruining the logic board.
 

volvo242gt

Well-known member
Looks like it's actually a base model Quadra 650 board. If you get a replacement 68040 chip, and four more MB of RAM for the board, you can at least have the FPU, plus the full amount of on-board RAM. Get the remaining chips and capacitors/resistors to add built-in ethernet, and you'll have basically a Quadra 800 board in the Quadra 700-style case.
 

superseth

Member
@3lectr1cPPC don't worry I took out the old battery and put in a fresh one! Even after some initial cleaning with alcohol the area around the battery has a little bit of crap on it.

I guess the upside of missing that extra 4mb of ram over there is fewer chips were in the path of the battery juice. I'm a bit worried about the vram slots, they look pretty rough but I'm thinking of getting some video memory. I guess that screen ONLY supports 832x624 which is really strange to me.

Is there a difference between onboard ram and installing simms? With most of the slots free I was thinking of tracking down some more 72 pin simms before messing with soldering on new chips.

There are a few 040 CPU's floating around on ebay, are those pretty easy to just swap out? Onboard ethernet sounds awesome but if I can get this darn Asante card to work I think that won't be required. Ethernet shows up as an option in TCP/IP under 7.6.1 but I don't get an IP. Works find on my more modern G3/G4 machines on the same hub.
 

volvo242gt

Well-known member
Very easy. Lift the chip out of its socket, install the replacement, making sure it's oriented correctly.
 

superseth

Member
I'll start looking around ebay for a good 040 then! Since I have 24mb ram right now that might be my first upgrade. I already have a BlueSCSI in there now, although it had a 2gig (!?!?!?!) physical scsi drive in there when I booted it back up. Leaving that on the bench for now because I am scared it will give out.

I have a new battery in the machine but it seems to be not keeping the PRAM saved? Is that a common problem? Maybe I need to test out the battery voltage on my multimeter the next time I takeout the drive casing. Thanks for all the help folks!
 

MrFahrenheit

Well-known member
There are photos a similar thing somewhere out on the internet the owner thinks was a prototype.

Nice interesting machine. Wombat in the best case :)

That machine you’re likely referring to came out of the Vintage Macintosh Museum, owned by Adam Rosen.


It had the black and orange “apple prototype” sticker on it when it was in the “museum” (which really was just a private collection), but when it was sold as part of his estate, I believe the sticker was removed.

The one from the Adam Rosen estate really was a sort of prototype or engineering pre-release.

I have several pieces in my collection that I sourced from the estate sale following Adam’s death.
 

Phipli

Well-known member
That machine you’re likely referring to came out of the Vintage Macintosh Museum, owned by Adam Rosen.


It had the black and orange “apple prototype” sticker on it when it was in the “museum” (which really was just a private collection), but when it was sold as part of his estate, I believe the sticker was removed.

The one from the Adam Rosen estate really was a sort of prototype or engineering pre-release.

I have several pieces in my collection that I sourced from the estate sale following Adam’s death.
Yes, that's the page I'm remembering. Thanks :)
 

volvo242gt

Well-known member
Hmmm, I wonder if this is the same machine that Adam had. The C650 badge is too small to cover up "Macintosh IIcx" silkscreened on the front of the case. @superseth any chance we could have a better view of the rear panel, including the seial number area?
 

MrFahrenheit

Well-known member
Hmmm, I wonder if this is the same machine that Adam had. The C650 badge is too small to cover up "Macintosh IIcx" silkscreened on the front of the case. @superseth any chance we could have a better view of the rear panel, including the seial number area?
The one that Adam Rosen had featured an engineering sample 68040 CPU, which lends to the idea that at least that one was some form of prototype or internal Apple tomfoolery.

I do notice that the rear port area looks identical to the Adam Rosen one.

Very intriguing…
 

volvo242gt

Well-known member
The one that Adam Rosen had featured an engineering sample 68040 CPU, which lends to the idea that at least that one was some form of prototype or internal Apple tomfoolery.

I do notice that the rear port area looks identical to the Adam Rosen one.

Very intriguing…
Definitely would be interesting to find out.
 

trag

Well-known member
At some point it looks like a Centris 650 was shoved inside a Mac IIcx case and the back was drilled out and replaced with a metal cover for the ports.

This could be an Apple proto-type as others surmise, however you should also be aware that Shreve Systems sold hundreds (thousands?) of such systems.

Apparently, they had a giant stack of old IIcx and C/Q 650 logic boards and they offered a graft for many years.

I may be misremembering a little. It might have been that if you sent them your IIcx, they would "upgrade" it to a C/Q 650 by modifying the case and replacing the logic board.

They then took the ROM chips out of the IIcx logic boards and sold those for Mac II to Mac IIX upgrades, or so I have been told. That doesn't provide a SWIM, but the history is hazy.
 

superseth

Member
The backplate on that one looks JUST like what I have on mine. Same font, missing the ethernet and power button etc.

Of course I only have 4mb on the motherboard and an 040LC but that could just be whatever logic board they grabbed. I'll look around for a sticker or anything that indicates "Shreve" was involved. I'll also take some better photos to upload here as well.
 

trag

Well-known member
It shouldn't be too difficult to pull up the old Shreve advertisements in the back of the Mac magazines. The magazines being available on line now days...

Such ads were usually in the back.
 

superseth

Member
Back with photos, sorry for the delay but I went to VCF West and it really wiped me out! Based on those images from @MrFahrenheit I think they came from the same place. The Warranty sticker matches exactly except for the location on the machine (there is also one on the inside of the case not included in these photos). I need to get this board under a ultrasonic cleaner or something. Just scrubbing with ISO didn't get enough off it. I suspect the cousin machine just ended up with a prototype CPU, maybe it was laying around somewhere and got tossed in at some point?

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MrFahrenheit

Well-known member
This is a very interesting update regarding that Mac.

I had not known that companies such as Shreve Systems did IIcx to Q650 upgrades.

What is strange though is that “prototype” that Adam Rosen had in his collection. Bearing an Apple asset tag and all.

Perhaps THAT specific machine was once owned by Apple, and was some form of prototype. It left Apple like how a lot of these do: some form of employee discount purchasing or gifting or picked from trash. Then, a few years later, upgraded by a company such as Shreve to a Q650, and instead of the 68LC040 they replaced the CPU with an engineering sample one they had kicking around (maybe they still worked for Apple and got the chip for free?).

The rear ports of your machine are identical to the “prototype” but it makes a lot of sense that it’s more than likely a Shreve upgrade than some FrankenMac prototype.

When I first heard of the Adam Rosen “prototype”, I was a bit cautious about it. Kind of seemed a little strange, but I figured Adam Rosen must have vetted the machine or the seller/donor. I did bid on it when it was sold on eBay but it crossed the line in value that I didn’t continue bidding.

I wonder how many others like this there are out there…
 
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